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Refusal for a Future Life-Sustaining Treatment - Essay Example

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From this paper it is clear that HD is hereditary and incurable. Affected patients experience irreversible dementia leading to fatality. The only thing that they can do for now is to avail for genetic counseling to ease their level of discomfort and anxiety. John is a lawyer in his 30’s. Several months ago, he noticed rapid movements twitching in his face. John then went to two neurologists and found out that he has Huntington’s disease. John’s mother died from that disease. He knows that he has ten years or so to live. The issue in John’s case is whether or not it is ethical, upon paralysis, to refuse future life-sustaining treatment. Whether or not John is in his right mind is also an issue here. Huntington’s disease affects the patient’s cognitive abilities. Despite the symptoms he unbearably experienced, John remains to be a productive lawyer. His productive work only shows that he is in his right mind. Moreover, John wrote a note before ingesting all his antidepressant medicine. Writing a note that states a clear message implies that the writer knows what he is doing. John, to my mind, is unquestionably competent in deciding what is good for him. His concept of good lies not in his biological good but rather in his perception of good. To die without life-sustaining treatment is what constitute good for John.
This paper declares that John’s psychiatrist refused to help him commit suicide. Well, that’s what psychiatrist is paid for: to help their patients live a normal life. At this point, one might challenge the credibility of John’s right mind. I would still say that John was in his right mind when he spoke those words. The fact that John reassured his psychiatrist that he do not have plans to commit suicide “any time soon” implies that he consciously knows what he is saying. John’s case is comparable to cases concerning physician-assisted suicide or PAS. First, John has an incurable disease. Second, he expressed his refusal for a potential life-sustaining treatment. ...Show more
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Summary

As the discussion, Refusal for a Future Life-Sustaining Treatment, stresses the symptoms of Huntington’s disease (HD) are evident for patients in their 30’s or 40’s. HD, however, begins at any age from infancy. The offspring of an affected parent has a 50% chance of HD transmittal. …
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